Friday, April 22, 2011

Interview with Self

  For the past few days, you have enjoyed the potential for conducting interviews with certain special characters, creations of writers still living and others long dead before you'd even begun to read.  In thoughts, even hopes that these interviews might turn into one of your next non-fiction projects to be shared equally with a novel, you went so far as to fill many pages of a small Moleskine notebook with names for potential interview subjects before a series of interesting triggers were triggered.

Trigger number one:  the thought to interview yourself, detailing two questions to ask yourself in particular, the first being a major writing-related regret, the second being a writing-related pleasure.  (Applaud the notion of asking yourself questions as a means of starting forth on the day's writing time.)

Trigger number two:  the awareness that you'd not put in much work today, almost as though you were avoiding the work itself until you'd reached a point of calling it off for the day with the assurance that you'd be back on your game tomorrow.

Trigger number three:  reminding yourself that writing is not a game to be off or on, merely a thing to be worked at, thus the decision to spend some time before a blank screen until some writing equivalent of a musician running scales came to you so that at least the day's output would be some form of practice, thus enhancing the muscle memory.

Trigger number four:  the evoked memories of the times you'd sat death watches as you saw a project you had in the works begin to fade from your enthusiasm, retreating for any number of reasons into the shadows of calling it off for a time or for good.

Trigger number five:  recalling one of your major regrets, which was the wane of energy in a project you'd grown quite fond of to the point where you could visualize the ending to a better degree than you'd been able to visualize the ending of a long-form work while it was still in early draft.

Trigger number six:  digging out the major regret and reading the first three chapters.

Enthusiasm for you is a riotous collision of differing events and stimuli, interspersed with conflicting tugs at your attention.  You are not, however much you try to focus on doing so, a one-project-at-a-time person.  This has contributed to a number of times you watched the enthusiasm for what seemed like a promising project decide to cut class metaphorically speaking, and go to the beach.  True enough, you get things to completion when there is a deadline or a tsunami of a vision that will carry you single-mindedly to the close.  Of equal truth, you tend to invent new ideas at critical moments to keep you in that rush of early enthusiasm stage, as though that were enough to see you through to a conclusion.  (It isn't.  It never is.  The real rush, the mature love rush is in the revision, the running on a combination of fear and empty that puff out the sails of a work in progress, propelling it to what it wanted to be before you got to working on it.)

The major regret was not having finished Exit, Pursued by a Bear, the novel you have pulled out this day and begun to look at, all because you could not find your way into this blog entry, the intents of which were to a) get you at work on another book length project, and b) get your awareness of where The Secret of Casa Jocosa goes next.  Each is what could be called a noir thriller, although there is no similarity in theme or overview.  One is motivated by anger and frustration, the other by a curiosity to see how far the pursuit of  simple theme--entitlement--can take you.

Perhaps you'd do well to add trigger number seven, which was an extended walk about the new neighborhood, thoughts pulled in a number of directions by the smells, sights, sounds of this locale you have come to regard with such interest.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

This is why no one can capture, quantify, or replicate, the creative process. It's organic, whimsical, seemingly random, yet with an internal logic all its own.